Zara Phillips’ first race as a horse trainer ended in disappointment yesterday (08.05.08).

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The royal’s horse, Manor Down, strained a tendon during the race at Cheltenham racetrack, in Gloucestershire, England, pulling out of the race. Luckily Zara’s boyfriend, rugby player Mike Tindall, was on hand to comfort her.

Zara, daughter of Princess Anne, said: “I’m not sure how much he tries, but he ran too badly to be true. He came back sound, but when I went to the stables to see him, I found he had strained a tendon.”

Mike and Zara were seen canoodling at the racetrack, and Zara recently hinted she is hoping for a marriage proposal.

She said: “Well, he hasn’t asked yet. I’m old-fashioned: I think they should ask you. Everyone at the rugby club seems to be getting married and having babies so they keep asking me ‘What about you?’.”

Although she adds that although the couple have plans, she’s not ready for children yet, saying: “I’m still far too selfish right now, and anyway I’ve got children: 11 horses and Mike.”

Zara is an accomplished show rider and won the individual gold medal at the 2006 World Equestrian Games. She was also voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the same year.